More than Bauhaus. German photography between the wars and Polish parallels
April – July, 2021

Curators: Lothar Altringer and Dr. Adelheid Komenda (LVR-LandesMuseum, Bonn), Dr. Jens Bove (Deutsche Fotothek, Dresden), Sebastian Lux (Stiftung F.C. Gundlach, Hamburg), Natalia Żak (ICC)

Devoted to pre-World War II Germany, this show rounds out a series of exhibitions staged at the ICC Gallery that have dealt with the architecture of independence in Central Europe (2018–2019) and the avant-gardes of Central Europe (2019), illustrating the cultures of the young states that emerged in our region of the continent after 1918.

The changes that occurred over this period and the effort invested in building the new order were accompanied and documented by photography. The inter-war period was a time when this genre of art evolved rapidly and, with film, became an important element of the visual culture scene. ‘Photographic images’ were used in artistic experiments, and served as documentation of the rapidly changing reality, and in the construction and generation of meanings. The show takes the viewer to the Weimar Republic of the years 1919–1933 and, through photographs, describes the overwhelming longing for normal life and the Golden Twenties, which brought relief from the horror of war, while also depicting this society of the defeated and the experience of economic crisis and the growing tensions that raised Hitler to power. A valuable complement to the German photographs in the exhibition are Polish photographs from the period, which, provoking dialogue with the German works, foster comparisons, and cast light on the differences and similarities  of the two countries’ experiences of those years.

Exhibition organized in cooperation with the LVR-LandesMuseum in Bonn, Stiftung F.C. Gundlach in Hamburg, Deutsche Fotothek Dresden, and selected Polish collections.

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